Chinese company Xiaomi is reportedly preparing to enter the smartwatch market with bang when it launches the rumored Xiaomi Millet watch that is said to run on Android MIUI OS. As the battle of supremacy in the telecommunications market heats up on the Smartwatch stage, we are set to see some amazing wearable devices powered by Android besides what the market leaders have brought us already, an upcoming giant like Xiaomi cannot afford to be left out.
Sony may not have been the first smartwatch maker but it is recognized as one of the companies that gambled big on its first smartwatch and because it just released Sony Smartwatch 2, it must have high expectations in the market. Samsung has followed suit with the release of Galaxy Gear alongside Note 3, AT&T will soon offer FiLIP smartwatch for kids, we have seen the A.I smartwatch, there’s the Pebble smartwatch available on AT&T and Coolpad’s CWatch just to name a few.
According to Chinese website MyDrivers, the Xiaomi Millet smartwatch will be ‘significantly low priced’ compared to other smartwatches already in the market such as the Galaxy Gear which sells for a whopping $299 on its own. Xiaomi is popular for designing high quality high end Android smartphones including the Xiaomi Mi3 that dominated the Chinese and Asian markets briefly and the upcoming Xiaomi Mi4. Xiaomi is also popular for affordability as its business model means it makes money on quantity of sales rather than significant profits per device sold.
Xiaomi is not the only manufacturer rumored to be considering or working on an Android smartwatch, there is talk of Samsung and Google working on a wearable device that will be just as advanced and featured as Google Glass or close. It appears that Xiaomi is eventually ‘expanding [their] incredible portfolio’ as promised by Hugo Barra when he left Google to join team Xiaomi about 2 months ago.
If the smartwatch will indeed come with a skinned version of Android MIUI, this wouldn’t be the first time a Chinese company is making headlines on this front. Last month, when CyanogenMod went private, and hinted on partnering with Oppo as a hardware manufacturer to work on a dual boot phone with CyanogenMod OS, it is encouraging how these companies are embracing custom skinned community developed Android systems. Other Android smartwatches in the market run on official Android OS with manufacturer skins, most having Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
There aren’t any specific specification details at the moment but if these rumors are true, it’s just a matter of time before we see how different future smartwatches are. If you are unsure whether you need a smartwatch or just want to know whether these devices are worth the buzz, you should read Robin’s sensational post Exactly what do we need a Smartwatch for?